25th Hour Based on David Benioff's novel, 25th Hour concerns the last free day of Monty Brogan, an Irish kid from Brooklyn who matures into a convicted… 25th Hour Based on David Benioff's novel, 25th Hour concerns the last free day of Monty Brogan, an Irish kid from Brooklyn who matures into a convicted…
Video Review

25th Hour (2003)

MPAA Rating: R
Edward Norton, Rosario Dawson, ... | I KNOW WHY THE JAILBIRD SINGS Norton rails on Rosario Dawson in Lee's latest ode to Manhattan
Image credit: 25th Hour: David Lee
I KNOW WHY THE JAILBIRD SINGS Norton rails on Rosario Dawson in Lee's latest ode to Manhattan
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: May 20, 2003; Movie Rated: R; Genres: Drama, Mystery and Thriller; With: Edward Norton; Distributor: Touchstone Pictures

Based on David Benioff's novel, 25th Hour concerns the last free day of Monty Brogan, an Irish kid from Brooklyn who matures into a convicted felon. Before Monty goes up the river, he and his pals go out on the town. As adapted by Spike Lee -- a director who cannot help but turn a Nike ad into a mash note to New York City -- the movie nods to Martin Scorsese's ''Mean Streets,'' Woody Allen's ''Manhattan,'' and Lee's own ''Do the Right Thing,'' and the setup is less a premise than a pretense. The story of Edward Norton's Monty doesn't gain momentum; rather, it winds down, spinning out varied character studies, catchy slice-of-life vignettes, perfect urban vistas, and a meditation on Ground Zero along the way.

With his first feature film, ''She's Gotta Have It,'' Lee was tagged ''the black Woody Allen,'' and he's since developed into a cinematic Norman Mailer (emerging as both provocative and pugnacious). With its democratic raptures, hurtling monologues, and mongrel energy, ''25th Hour'' suggests that Lee could become a media-age Walt Whitman. He contains multitudes.

Originally posted May 16, 2003 Published in issue #710 May 16, 2003 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners